The EU’s Plan to Cut Food Waste in Half by 20302018-10-112019-06-06https://foodwaste.tech/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/foodwaste-tech-logo3.pngFoodwastehttps://foodwaste.tech/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/eu-reduce-food-waste-2030.jpg200px200px
Agreements such as the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development have been created goals for Europe to reduce its food waste by half before reaching 2030.
Europe is the most frequently visited continent in the world. Every year millions of tourists head to old cities to experience history and art and some of the worlds best cuisine. Culinary dishes have long been a tourist attraction, and people will pay heavy prices to try the best food. Believe it or not, Tourism is such a large part of the economy that in 2016, international tourist arrivals was recorded at 1,239 million in 2016, and created 1,109 billion revenue in destination (UNWTO).
European cities are also growing exponentially. Due to new business and tech environments and educational institutions, new workers are heading to innovative cities for jobs in tech and sustainability such as Dublin, Amsterdam, and Stockholm.
Food Waste In Europe
These cities are becoming so innovative, yet food waste remains such a large problem. The EU Commission issued a statement earlier in 2016 reporting an estimated 88 million tonnes of food waste thrown away. The equivalent cost of this is 143 billion euros per year.
Food waste remains such a problem, that as a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Therefore, these goals made by the EU in the Paris agreement and Sustainable development goals are ambitious goals to reduce the problem. Reducing hunger and food waste are inherent problems within the food industry. According to the FUSIONS Report, referenced on the official EU website, more than half of this food wasted is generated in households. However, much of the waste still occurs in restaurants and food suppliers.
World Treaties and the EU
A timeline of agreements in between the international panel of climate change and countries around the world since the 1988 Paris agreement. Afterward, the IPCC further agreed to prepare a report overlooking the effects of global climate change with a special report on 1.5 C. Below is a graphic of timeline. It was at the Paris agreement where 197 countries endorsed the agreement to limit global climate change.
THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Two agreements in the past decade have been made to help account for reducing global carbon emissions, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development goals. These are both pillars that have marked the EU’s goal to cut food waste. Additionally, the Commissions Circular Economy Package brought light and outlined the agenda and planning for a more sustainable Europe in the next decade.
According the Paris Agreement, the EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by of 1990 levels by 2030. It will create a demand in increased renewable or sustainable energies. While there will be crackdowns on company policies for unsustainable practices in production, the market will also open up to a realm of opportunities within the tech and environmental industries.
An economy based on renewable biological resources, known as the bio economy, could be the key to achieve this goal. Innovations from the bio economy, such as making biofuels from food waste, could help the EU to use cleaner renewable energy. This would propel the EU towards a more carbon-neutral, circular economy where waste is recycled and sold as new products. – Johnathon Smith
The Circular Economy Package
The circular economy package outlines the steps Europe needs to take to transition to a more sustainable way of life which wont effect them economically. The report details economic opportunities and possible new jobs that can be generated from the innovation.
It is not only an ethical or economic issue, but more environmental effects than most people are aware of. Leaders in the business world can be optimistic about the future trends of food for the economy. However many additional habits may be needed to change
The search for alternate methods to reduce food waste is an economic opportunity. Reducing food waste can also correlate in the reduction of monetary resources regarding world hunger and sustainable lifestyle. Food waste occurs at every step of its the food supply chain. the circular economy package seeks to deal with each step of the food supply chain to address more sustainable solutions for these processes.
Sustainable Development Goals
In November 2016 the EU outlined points to their agenda for the 2030 goals to reduce Global Warming Emissions. These Sustainable Development goals are also on the European Commissions 10 priorities. The Second goal under the goals is “Zero Hunger”. Zero Hunger refers to proper redistribution of food items. With proper management and business practice we can create a environmentally efficient use of food. Food waste reduction itself actually plays a part within four of the sustainable development goals for Europe. These are (2) zero hunger, (12) responsible consumption and production, (11) sustainable cities and communities, and (13) climate action. The SDG creates improvements for human dignity, the economy and maintaining a balanced environment.
SDG 12.3- Halve food Waste
The Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 is the “Official declaration to halve per capita food waste at the EU and the EU countries are committed to meeting the 3 target to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.- European union
In order to do this, the European Commission has taken a series of steps to better the policy and process in the food supply chain.
Improved methodology for measurement of food waste measurement.
A multi stakholder platform.
Clearing and better identifying food waste in EU legislation for all parts of the food chain supply- including management of food gone to waste and food going to animal feed.
Better identifying the “Best By” dates for common food products that are commonly sold in production. Measures will be taken to better communication between sellers and consumers, to reduce the amount of food wasted (especially within homes).
Different Policies and Food Management in EU Countries
Certain countries within Europe have already made major differences within the EU. France and The Netherlands in particular, banned the use of landfills if food was not purchased at food suppliers. In fact, both France and Holland are the first countries to publicly address the issue of food waste in the EU. This is for the idea is banning food waste in order to reduce hunger. Simply put, if it can be eaten, it should not be thrown away. In February 2016 France became the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from discarding unused food, forcing stores to donate to charities or food banks. Nowadays, this structure within food suppliers is now an example for many worldwide.
Before the policy was placed, France was one of the greatest wasters of food. The reputation of French cuisine is world wide, and also a huge generator for tourism. By managing flow of food for locals and restaurants people are empowered to find more sustainable ways for food management.
Of the 7.1m tonnes of food wasted in France annually, 67% is binned by consumers, 15% by restaurants and 11% by shops. Each year 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted worldwide.
A report published in 2015 showed that UK households threw away 7m tonnes of food in 2012, enough to fill London’s Wembley stadium nine times over. Avoidable household food waste in the UK is associated with 17m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. – The Guardian
In parallel, the Netherlands launched its own campaign against food waste in march this year, Known as “United against Food waste” also originated by the Circular Economy in Food. Within the campaign are companies, research institutes, governmental and NGO organizations. 7 Million euros will be provided by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. This will ensure the methods and research is accurate to cut the amount of food waste in Half by 2030.
Germany is focusing on an intelligent packaging as a part of the German Minister for agricultures plan to curb the consumer habits of every day germans. Currently its estimated the average German wastes 55 Kilos per year. It is said that around 14 million Euros are currently going into this technology.
Did you know? In over half of the food wasted in Europe is wasted within households. (47 million tonnes). In order to cut food waste in Half, its crucial for the food market to communicate to consumers how do handle food at home. Around 70% comes from the combinations of households, restaurants and suppliers. (FUSIONS, 2016) Basic things consumers can do to better the carbon footprint with their actions.
Understand the “Best Before” dates versus the “Best by” dates.
Create shopping lists – Look into your food pantry before shopping. Overbuying and stocking when you already have food at home leads to quicker spoilage of products.
Read food packaging for storage– Much of the food we buy spoils quicker because we are storing it incorrectly.
Freeze extra food – You can always freeze food to preserve produce such as veggies or fruits to be later placed in smoothies of soups at home.
The Future of the European Commission
The European Commission is looking forward to a growing relationship innovative partners. Therefore, Tech industries, NGO’s, and sustainable practices will create a model for Europe to follow. These agreements being made now will grow in importance to behavioral models.
The Global Food Waste Scandal
Want to know more about the big problem with food waste? This Ted talk that helps break down the problem a bigger picture about how food waste effects us everyday, and how we may improve it.